We chat to Anna Paola, owner and designer at Paolita.
What inspired you to become a swimwear designer?
Being half Greek and half Mexican, it seemed natural for me to design for warmer climates. Growing up, I spent a lot of time by the sea and I think that definitely inspired me to become a swimwear designer. I also really love the challenge of creating garments with such little fabric. I try to focus on the fit and cut of the suits to make the swimwear relevant to many different body types. Designing swimwear gives you the ability to make things cute, fun and sexy, while still making women feel beautiful and confident.
What makes your designs different from others?
Paolita swimwear is fun, flirty and sophisticated. People are always very impressed by the quality and fit of the suits. All Paolita bathing suits have beautiful, intricate details, but the details never compromise the practicality or wearability of the suits
Are there any celebrities wearing your designs and who are they?
Rihanna’s stylist came by our boutique in Marble Arch and picked up 10 pieces for her and I heard that she absolutely loved them! Anna Friel has also bought some very cute pieces from us.
Do you wear your own products?
All the time! I usually wear about 2 different bikinis and a one piece each day whenever I go to the beach. The bikinis are great because I can change them every time I get one wet. I save the one piece for the end of the day when it gets a little chilly and I’m ready to go to the beach bar!
What’s your favourite swimwear brand (not your own!) and why?
I love Agua Bendita from Columbia – I really admire their bold use of print and colour. If I didn’t have my own swimwear brand, I would definitely be wearing theirs!
What advice would you give to an aspiring swimwear designer?
It depends which field in design they would want to follow and what role they would want to undertake. Based on my experience, the only advice I would give is to follow your passion – design what feels right! I love having my own label and I would advise anyone with the determination and creative vision to follow their dreams and strike out on their own. I’ve found it to be a really rewarding experience.
How do you get your inspirations for new collections?
I love stories. In fact whenever I start developing a collection, I kind of turn it into a little story in my head and somehow that brings it all together. I subconsciously collect inspiration for these design stories from different facets of my everyday life, whether it is from conversations with friends, to movies I have seen, paintings that I love, or music I have listened to – I draw inspiration from everything.
Do you use paper and pencil to design your first draft or is it all done on computer?
I usually design with pencil and paper first and then move to the computer, but it really just depends on what is more practical at the time. I’m definitely more of a practical thinker than an idealist on how design should be done or how it might be romanticized.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a designer?
I would be a surgeon… of course I would’ve had to go through medical school and I don’t think I ever had the attention span for that!
What are you working on right now?
I am currently doing all my model castings and coming up with the styling concepts for the Summer 13 look book.
What makes a great lingerie model?
1. A great face 2. A great body 3. Knowing their angles and how to work with lighting for the camera. 4. A good wax 5. A good attitude and a hard worker.
You can view Anna’s latest creations below and on the Paolita website.
Category: Designer Profiles